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and a memory to which no eloquence can rise, no detail do justice; in celebrating which, praise cannot degenerate into panegyric, nor the preacher be suspected of adulation.

Moses died in the year of the world two thousand five hundred and fifty-three-before Christ one thousand four hundred and fifty-after the flood eight hundred and ninety-seven. The most ancient and authentic of historians, the most penetrating, dignified, and illuminated of prophets, the profoundest, sagest of legislators, the prince of orators and poets, the most excel- . lent and amiable of men, the firmest and faithfulest of believers. " Whether we live, let us live unto the Lord," that when we die we may “ die in the Lord;" that "living and dying we may be the Lord's.”

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HISTORY OF MOSES.

LECTURE XII.

And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto

Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.-Deut. xxxiv. 10–12.

THERE is in mankind a good-natured disposition to spare the dead. Without very high provocation indeed, who could think of disturbing the peace and silence of the grave, and of dragging again before the tribunal of man those who have already undergone the more awful judgment of a righteous God?

But this generosity does not always proceed from pure benevolence. The dead no longer stand in our way; they are no longer our rivals in the pursuits of fame or of fortune. We can here earn the praise of magnanimity, without any danger of suffering in the interests of our reputation, our consequence, our selflove. From whatever source this lenity and forbearance proceed, we would not be thought altogether to condemn them; but good-nature in this, as in a few other cases, is apt sometimes to be carried too far. Through fear of being thought severe to those who have no power to defend themselves, extravagant and unmerited commendation has been often lavished on the worthless and the wicked. I will cheerfully engage not to violate the ashes of the dead by unjust censure, nor even by merited invective; but I must not be forced, on the other hand, to commemorate virtues that were never practised; to bring to light worth that never existed, except in the tropes of a funeral oration; to represent as right, what God, and truth, and reason pronounce to be wrong. My tongue shall be silent as the grave over the memory of the proudest, most selfish, , hard-hearted, unkind, uncomplying wretch that ever lived; but I must not be called in to prostitute my conscience by celebrating his humility, generosity, compassion, or sweetness of temper. I would correct the common adage a little, and then give it all the currency in my power. Instead of rendering it, “ of the dead' say that only which is good,I would translate it, “ of the dead say that only which is true.

Indeed, the best thing that can befal most men, when they die, is to be forgotten as soon as possible. Few, very few characters are such as not to suffer by handling; and there is great danger of rousing and provoking slumbering resentments against our departed friends, by an officious zeal to trumpet their praise, and display their good qualities. The praise bestowed on the dead is generally contemptible adulation to the living; adulation, vilely bestowing the rewards of piety and goodness on mere greatness or affluence, and thereby strengthening the hands of vice, by lulling the conscience to rest, and deceiving men into the be. lief, that a good name may be purchased without possessing a spark of virtue.

The liturgy of our established church, in how many other respects soever useful and excellent, is here faulty, and certainly does mischief. The funeral service, one of the noblest, because one of the most scriptural parts of it, with indiscriminating charity dispenses the

kingdom of heaven to the evil and the good, to 6 him that sweareth as to him who feareth an oath." The wretch whose whole life has been a notorious violation of every law human and divine, who grew old in hatred and contempt of the gospel, falls asleep in the “sure and certain hope of a resurrection to eternal life.” What is this but to encourage men to continue in sin, that grace may abound; to live profligates, and yet hope to die in peace?

Happily, the character we are this evening to bring under your review will stand the test of the strictest examination, will shine with superior lustre from being touched and retouched, will discover new excellencies on every investigation, will furnish to the humble, the penitent, and the believing, perpetual ground of instruction and consolation. After a course of more than fourscore Lectures on the life, character, and writings of Moses, it may perhaps be thought superAuous, to employ the whole of another discourse in attempting to elucidate his character, to recommend his example, to embalm his memory. But it is this very circumstance which determined me to attempt a de. lineation of this wonderful man's portrait, to request that you would join me in meditating a few moments over one who has been honoured of God, to do more, in order to please and instruct mankind, than any mere man that ever existed. To say truth, I consider the person of Moses as a pledge of affection between you and myself. He brought us together at first, and he has kept us together a considerable

part of these three years past; to part with him and his writings seems a kind of presentiment of our final dissolution likewise; and, in losing him, I feel as if I were losing a thousand friends at a stroke. But let us speak and think of Moses, not of ourselves.

It is impossible to think of Moses without first thinking of his Father and our Father, of his God and our God.” To be a chosen instrument in the hand of

Heaven to carry on the plans of Providence, to promote the wisdom and the happiness of mankind, is man's highest glory: as it is his truest felicity to do this voluntarily and from the heart, as an obedient, zealous, and cheerful fellow-worker with God. Now, Moses possessed this distinction and felicity in a very eminent degree. God raised up Pharaoh " in very deed for this cause, to show in him his power, that his great name might be declared throughout all the earth;" and Pharaoh, unhappily for himself, accomplished the designs of Heaven, by his pride, obstinacy and rebellion. God called “Cyrus his anointed, by name, and surnamed him who had not known him, for Jacob his servant's sake, and Israel his elect.” Nebuchadnezzar he employed as the rod of his anger to chastise a diso. bedient and gainsaying people, and then broke it in pieces and dashed it to the ground. These, and many others, stand upon record, as executing the will of the Eternal without their own consciousness or intention, nay, totally against it; but Moses had the rare felicity of engaging in one of the most generous purposes which can animate a human breast, knowing it to be, at the same time, the leading, commanding purpose of God himself, Every step he moved was supported by the enlivening reflection, that every step he moved was executing the decrees of the Almighty, and promoting the relief and salvation of his wretched countrymen. How delightful the progress, when duty and inclination go hand in hand! The circumstances in which God raised

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Moses mark him peculiarly as his own. Every thing concurred to prove, that here “the arm of the Lord was revealed." Another king had arisen, “whọ knew not Joseph,” the hope of Israel seemed to be perish. ing; Egypt was alarmed with expectation, or rather apprehension, of the appearance of this wonderful child; Israel was awakened to expectation, but aban. doned it in despair. To reach the life of one, ten

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